Department of Art & Art History

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Joshua Hebbert: MFA Graduate 2014
Joshua Hebbert: MFA Graduate 2014

Graduate Ceramics

2015  Ceramics Graduate Program is ranked #5 in US News and World Report.

Graduate school is meant to be the transition from instructional learning in a classroom setting to individual learning in a private studio practice. It is a time to prepare oneself for the relatively solitary demands of professional studio life. Each student is given an advisor, at the beginning of their graduate study, to assist in choosing courses and discussing the development of his or her work in the studio. There is also a Graduate Seminar for Ceramics – which typically includes students from other disciplines – which provides a weekly forum for readings, discussion, and group critiques. These structures provide a platform for the development of work and ideas, while allowing the student self-direction as to the nature of his or her work. Two formal reviews each semester involve the entire ceramic faculty together with the individual graduate student, in addition to meetings with the thesis committee, which each graduate forms at the end of their first year.

The Art and Art History Department is strongly committed to fostering an interdisciplinary program that encourages cross-fertilization between art making disciplines. In many cases this occurs naturally as all graduate students in all the disciplines have studios in the same building. The academic structure of the program likewise fosters critical dialogue between peers in every area by bringing all the graduates together into first year and second year seminars.

Graduate students are also free to seek teaching instructorships and assistantships in any area depending on their knowledge, experience, and skills. It is common for ceramic graduate students to teach in other areas of the department; recent graduate students have had assistantships in drawing, sculpture, the Visiting Artist program, the Visual Resource Center, and the CU Art Museum, as well as in ceramics. The ceramic area awards two or three teaching jobs and technical assistantships to graduate students each semester. These jobs and assistantships throughout the department are competitive and awarded according to the merit of the candidate’s work.

For prospective students who are accepted into the program, we strongly encourage you to visit and see the school firsthand. The opportunity to speak with the ceramic faculty, see the facility and studio spaces, and speak to other graduate students is extremely helpful in your decision-making process.

We offer our graduate students private studios  with locking doors. All eight studios are in the same area and are separate from the undergraduate studios. The graduate area has its own kitchen and dining/gathering area.

Graduate Application Information

Ceramic facilities include:

10 Electric Kilns and 10 Gas and Wood fired kilns:

  • Four downdraft car kilns (one mid sized, three large)
  • Two mid-sized front-loading downdraft kilns
  • One smaller front-loading downdraft kiln
  • One mid-sized downdraft soda kiln
  • One large downdraft salt kiln
  • One large downdraft wood fired kiln

Clay Mixing Room:

  • One large 400-500lb. capacity mixer
  • One smaller Soldner mixer
  • One de-airing pug mill
  • One large capacity slip mixer

Plaster Laboratory: The Sculpture and Ceramic Area share a designated Plaster working room. It is large and well equipped and separate from any other clay or sculpture studios.

Clay and Glaze Laboratory: The ceramic area has a fully stocked glaze-mixing laboratory with all the materials necessary for a full studio practice.  The material selection is extensive to encourage experimentation across all firing temperatures. The room is large enough to use for glaze application of smaller works. There is a large spray booth for spraying glazes in the kiln building.

Exhibition Spaces: The ceramic area has many designated exhibition spaces including a very large gallery space on the ground level lobby of the Visual Art Center. The entire building has over 25 exhibition spaces for students to reserve and show their work.